Friday, July 26, 2019

The Slow Dreaming Days of Summer

I often find my words disappear a little in the summertime. There is so much to look at and do, there are no time for words, are there?  Only conversations with flowers, wonderful creatures, oh and the odd human, here and there ;) 
I had meant to write a post in June, but did get distracted with life offline, so I do apologise to anyone that likes to read my little  meanderings here.
I hope you are enjoying the summer wherever you may be, or of course winter if you are in the southern hemisphere. It's been lovely weather here in the south west of England. Currently a little too hot for me, but there have been plenty of visitors to the garden to inspire my paintings. 
Some, unlike these above were just too fast to get pictures of. There was a visit from a humming bird hawk moth on the valerian one day and nine scarlet tiger moths flying about on the hedge. The valerian is a wonderful plant to have as the butterflies love it. I took a cutting of a white one while out and about, which I'm hoping will take, as the plant is great for dry areas. The pond is looking good although the warm weather seems to have taken its toll on one of the plants but I'm hoping it may recover. No sign of Jeremy Fisher yet, although we did have a frog appear in the living room one day when the front door had been left open. So possibly he is visiting the pond secretly?  There have been damselflies stopping by and the birds are using it to drink and bathe in. And, I have even spotted a hedgehog having a drink! As you can imagine that made me very happy!

Another thing that has caused much joy is the lawn.  Here it is a few weeks or so back.
You may remember a couple of years ago we began leaving it wild in the summer time, creating a meadow for insects.  I love to walk around and see what new plants have awoken from their sleepy seeds or have reached up from suppressed roots. 
There was much excitement when a beautiful orchid appeared from nowhere in the shady part beneath the apple tree. 
It made me wonder and imagine what this old garden on its gentle sloping hillside has held throughout the centuries?Vegetables and apple orchards in the shadows of majestic elms. And further back when this old village is mentioned in the Domesday book there was a vineyard. Could it have been on this sunny hillside? Or was this little patch a meadow where the folk sat and rested, contemplating the future while collecting flowers and herbs to flavour their mead? Now, here I am, walking around and photographing maybe (I like to think) some of these same plants for inspiration in my work. Whatever this small patch of earth has seen and heard over the years, all is quiet for now and the orchid has returned.

Summer days here have been filled with moments of dreaming and reading.
Family time and daughter's graduation.
Evening walks where we saw glow worms.
And a partial eclipse of the moon.
Lots of National Trust houses on my list have been ticked off, which I may possibly come back and blog about another time?
The most recent one was Thomas Hardy's cottage in Dorset. Such a beautiful place to have lived. Hardy's great- grandfather built the cottage and Hardy was born and lived here with his parents, grandmother and siblings. It was here that he created some of England's best known literary works and characters. The surrounding heathland with it's ancient roman road nearby, was the inspiration for his imaginary Wessex.
I sat and signed the visitor book in the very same spot where he wrote 'Under The Greenwood Tree' and 'Far from The Madding Crowd' 
Work wise, I've been slowly working away on some hangers.
These were supposed to be ready ages ago, (apologies) but I've just found that I'm working extremely slow and have felt a bit burnt out since Christmas. So I'm taking my time this year and things will be ready when they are ready. I've also been working on the website again and have a shop up and running on there now. It's currently just got a few items in but will have more over time. I hope to sell  originals on there and more expensive pieces which will save some costs from Etsy. I've also set up a beta way of selling wholesale and will see how that pans out? I'm not leaving Etsy, but just want another place to feel secure as it seems many changes are happening there? You can view my web shop here.

Since the last post, these new postcards of paintings done a couple of months back are now for sale in the shop (Etsy shop)
I think that's all for now.
Here's to summer days!